ONE of the biggest schools in the Isle is celebrating an improvement in the quality of the teaching it provides to pupils.
Ofsted has classed South Axholme Academy as a ‘good’ school - the second highest - following its latest inspection, an improvement on the previous inspection when it was ranked ‘satisfactory’.
But financial constraints that force governors to put building repairs before new educational resources, are a block to the Epworth secondary achieving the highest ‘outstanding’ status, headteacher Marie Lister said.
Mrs Lister, who has been head at the academy since it was converted from a community school in December 2011, said: “We are all very pleased that the school has been judged as good over all. We had a thorough inspection in which students’ achievements were highlighted, and were found to be above average across the board.
“The curriculum was found to be well matched to students’ needs with high expectations set and lessons planned carefully. Our very strong range of extra-curricular activities was also mentioned.”
But the report also mentions the ‘robust discussions about spending decisions’ in governors’ meetings.
“Because we are a high-achieving school in an area that triggers no additional funding, we have to struggle to keep up the maintenance of a 51-year-old building,“ said Mrs Lister.
“Some schools do face more challenging circumstances, but it is not fair that we should not be entitled to extra money for buildings simply because we don’t fit the formula set by central government.”
The school has concerns over the ‘antiquated heating’ and single-glazed windows, Mrs Lister said. She added that investment in IT would be the ‘biggest single thing that would make a positive difference for both staff and students.’
Last summer South Axholme saw 65 per cent of GCSE pupils achieve five A* to C grades, including maths and English, compared to 58.8 per cent nationally.